Woodlawn Alexandria Reviews
Woodlawn Plantation Historic House Aug 07, 2011
Woodlawn Plantation was George Washington's wedding present to his nephew, Lawrence Lewis, and Eleanor “Nelly” Custis. (Nelly was Martha Washington's granddaughter via Martha's first marriage.) Washington selected the site with a view of the Potomac River and his own Mount Vernon estate.
The Lewis' built a two-story brick mansion on their property between 1800 and 1805. Their house was designed in the new Federal style by William Thornton, the architect of the US Capitol and a friend of George Washington. Woodlawn was sold to a Quaker congregation in 1846. Opposed to slavery, the Quakers desired to create a free settlement that would show slavery was unnecessary to successful agricultural production. Restored in the mid-20th century, Woodlawn was acquired by the National Trust for Historic Preservation in 1952 and opened to the public.
Visitors today can see the brick mansion and tour the interior. (The Lewis' did outdo George's Mount Vernon!) Visitors can see the various restored and furnished rooms, such as the dining room, bedrooms, parlor, and kitchen and learn about Lawrence and Nelly Lewis, their connections to Washington,and life at Woodlawn. (Nelly was a very happening young woman. She loved to entertain and was informal for her time. A painting shows her in a white shift, the equivalent of jeans and a t-shirt today, the docents explain.)
Admission is $8.50 ($15 combination ticket with the Pope-Leighey House). Photography is not permitted inside.
Woodlawn is on the National Register of Historic Places.
Part of the Daytripping around Virginia travel blog
Part of the list Historic Houses
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